14

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Workshop on EU-Turkmenistan Relations

27-03-2017

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of ...

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of law, and democracy in Turkmenistan, as well as for more intensive economic cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan, which currently faces an economic crisis. The two concepts are apparently complementary but deciding which one constituted the more useful approach for engagement was the central point that structured the discussion. Regardless of the angle from which they approached the issue, however, a majority of participants in the workshop debate expressed support for adoption of the treaty, while some NGO representatives took a more cautious view.

Externý autor

Sébastien Peyrouse and Luca Ancheschi

The EU’s Energy Diplomacy: Transatlantic and Foreign Policy Implications

16-06-2016

Energy security is increasingly occupying a top spot on the EU’s foreign policy agenda. The unconventional oil and gas revolution, OPEC’s supply response, increased global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trade, persistent concerns about the reliability of Russian gas supplies and the need to expand low carbon energies such as renewables to address climate change pose opportunities and challenges to European energy security. The EU has upgraded the issue with its flagship Energy Union communication and ...

Energy security is increasingly occupying a top spot on the EU’s foreign policy agenda. The unconventional oil and gas revolution, OPEC’s supply response, increased global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trade, persistent concerns about the reliability of Russian gas supplies and the need to expand low carbon energies such as renewables to address climate change pose opportunities and challenges to European energy security. The EU has upgraded the issue with its flagship Energy Union communication and its EU Energy Diplomacy Action Plan. The United States has developed into a major exporter of Natural Gas Liquids and refined petroleum products as a result of its unconventional oil and gas revolution. It might develop export capacities for LNG and continues to be a major coal exporter. The mutual energy trade could expand if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were concluded successfully. The United States is also a crucial partner of the EU for transport security and the protection of critical energy infrastructure. Against this backdrop, this study analyses opportunities and challenges of transatlantic energy cooperation in a changing global energy landscape.

Externý autor

Eckart Woertz

Could US Oil and Gas Exports Be a Game Changer for EU Energy Security?

08-02-2016

The quest for oil markets abroad can be seen as an attempt by US companies to find higher prices and profits and avoid bankruptcy, since the current low price of oil, resulting from OPEC's strategy of oversupplying the market, is making shale-oil production in the US less and less profitable. The impact of potential US oil exports on the European Union's energy security is expected to be limited in the short term. The oil market is oversupplied, prices are depressed and are only expected to increase ...

The quest for oil markets abroad can be seen as an attempt by US companies to find higher prices and profits and avoid bankruptcy, since the current low price of oil, resulting from OPEC's strategy of oversupplying the market, is making shale-oil production in the US less and less profitable. The impact of potential US oil exports on the European Union's energy security is expected to be limited in the short term. The oil market is oversupplied, prices are depressed and are only expected to increase slightly if OPEC and other producers agree to stabilise production, and Europe can find alternative suppliers easily. These now include Iran, which has the world's fourth-largest reserves of oil, since sanctions were lifted in January following the nuclear deal. The US ban on natural gas exports is still in force. Should it be removed, as part of a TTIP deal or under changes to domestic law, the US has the potential to become a net gas exporter. However, as the US can get higher prices on Asian markets and as both the US and the EU have limited LNG infrastructures, the EU is an unlikely destination for large LNG imports from the US in the short run. Europe can obtain gas from a plethora of suppliers, now including Iran, which has the world's second-largest reserves of gas. The long-term outlook is more promising, as US LNG export capacities are expected to rise significantly in the coming decade and EU Member States may decide to diversify supplier countries and routes, under the European Energy Security Strategy, rather than allowing short-term commercial interests to prevail.

Russia's domestic energy policy

01-02-2016

Russia's domestic energy mix is essentially fossil fuels with some nuclear power, a situation which is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. Except for large-scale hydroelectricity, renewable energies are still in their infancy. Energy efficiency is very poor and only slowly improving.

Russia's domestic energy mix is essentially fossil fuels with some nuclear power, a situation which is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. Except for large-scale hydroelectricity, renewable energies are still in their infancy. Energy efficiency is very poor and only slowly improving.

Trade in Commodities, Obstacles to Trade and Illegal Trade

11-09-2015

Free trade in raw materials is of great importance for the EU. China remains the EU’s main supplier of critical raw materials and thus concentrates on the most recent evidence on its export restrictions. Despite recent WTO rulings, China is still implementing a wide range of trade distorting measures in the form of export licensing or through the introduction of a resource tax. While we can trace certain welfare benefits for the Chinese domestic market following the introduction of export restrictions ...

Free trade in raw materials is of great importance for the EU. China remains the EU’s main supplier of critical raw materials and thus concentrates on the most recent evidence on its export restrictions. Despite recent WTO rulings, China is still implementing a wide range of trade distorting measures in the form of export licensing or through the introduction of a resource tax. While we can trace certain welfare benefits for the Chinese domestic market following the introduction of export restrictions, we can clearly relate increasing illegal trade outflow from China to its restrictive trade policies. While the use of the WTO provides one of the most straightforward mediums to offset trade distortions, more effective measures include the addition of explicit clauses on critical raw materials in bilateral trade agreements and a strong regulatory framework in the member states prohibiting imports of conflict or illegal raw materials.

Externý autor

Samuel R. SCHUBERT and Elina BRUTSCHIN (Webster University Vienna, Austria) ; Johannes POLLAK (Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies, Austria)

Serbia: Economic situation

17-07-2015

For decades, Serbia’s economy has been in a state of ongoing crisis. It was severely weakened by the long period of international economic sanctions, the civil war, and the damage caused to infrastructure and industry in the 1990s. The international financial crisis and multiple rounds of elections also delayed necessary reforms. In 2014, Serbia started negotiations for EU membership. In economic terms, it aims to build a fully functional market economy, by addressing overdue reforms. Economic recovery ...

For decades, Serbia’s economy has been in a state of ongoing crisis. It was severely weakened by the long period of international economic sanctions, the civil war, and the damage caused to infrastructure and industry in the 1990s. The international financial crisis and multiple rounds of elections also delayed necessary reforms. In 2014, Serbia started negotiations for EU membership. In economic terms, it aims to build a fully functional market economy, by addressing overdue reforms. Economic recovery is a top priority for the government elected in 2014. The challenge is to achieve growth, competitiveness and new jobs in a tight fiscal environment.

The Extra-EU Defence Exports’ Effects on European Armaments Cooperation

20-04-2015

Are exports made to countries outside of the European Union (EU) impeding European cooperation in armaments? Although the numbers vary significantly from one country to another, the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) now collectively derives an important share of its collective turnover from extra-EU export sales. Accordingly, EU Member states devote important political, financial and administrative resources to support and promote their national producers in major competition ...

Are exports made to countries outside of the European Union (EU) impeding European cooperation in armaments? Although the numbers vary significantly from one country to another, the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB) now collectively derives an important share of its collective turnover from extra-EU export sales. Accordingly, EU Member states devote important political, financial and administrative resources to support and promote their national producers in major competition overseas. The current scarcity of common European programmes, and the limited impacts of recently introduced legislation designed to harmonize national defence procurement rules and to facilitate intra-EU transfers, could indicate that extra-EU exports are detrimental to European cooperation on weapons projects. This negative effect would primarily come from introducing greater levels of competition between European companies creating greater tensions, which are not conducive to cooperation on the EU level. The study finds that there is indeed a correlation between competition for major foreign markets and difficulties of intra-EU cooperation but makes the analysis that extra-EU exports are more a symptom of structural constraints faced by major suppliers, such as the weakness of defence spending in European countries, and the persistence of fragmentation and duplication of production capabilities.

Externý autor

Lucie BERAUD-SUDREAU

Cuba's international trade

09-02-2015

Cuba's main imports are machinery, food and fuel products, while its major exports are refined fuels, sugar, tobacco, nickel and pharmaceuticals. In addition to merchandise exports, Cuba pays for much-needed imports through the export of services (tourism, medical personnel working abroad), remittances from Cubans living out of the country and finance from outside benefactors. The island recently reformed its foreign investment law and opened a Chinese-style 'special economic zone' around the new ...

Cuba's main imports are machinery, food and fuel products, while its major exports are refined fuels, sugar, tobacco, nickel and pharmaceuticals. In addition to merchandise exports, Cuba pays for much-needed imports through the export of services (tourism, medical personnel working abroad), remittances from Cubans living out of the country and finance from outside benefactors. The island recently reformed its foreign investment law and opened a Chinese-style 'special economic zone' around the new container terminal in Mariel with the aim of attracting additional foreign direct investment. President Obama's new policy on Cuba does not amount to lifting the US embargo as such, but rather expands and facilitates a specific range of possibilities for commercial and private exchange.

Unconventional gas and oil in North America

25-06-2014

Over the past decade, the United States and Canada have experienced spectacular growth in the production of unconventional fossil fuels, notably shale gas and tight oil, thanks to technological innovations such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Over the past decade, the United States and Canada have experienced spectacular growth in the production of unconventional fossil fuels, notably shale gas and tight oil, thanks to technological innovations such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

China's export restrictions on rare earth elements

18-07-2013

Reserves of rare earth elements are, as is their mining, unevenly distributed across the world. China has about 50% of known world reserves and until very recently was behind 95% of global supplies. It has reduced its export quotas drastically since 2010, arguing that the country had paid a heavy price for its mining activity in the form of resource depletion and severe environmental damage. In March 2012, together with Japan and the US, the EU demanded dispute settlement consultations in the World ...

Reserves of rare earth elements are, as is their mining, unevenly distributed across the world. China has about 50% of known world reserves and until very recently was behind 95% of global supplies. It has reduced its export quotas drastically since 2010, arguing that the country had paid a heavy price for its mining activity in the form of resource depletion and severe environmental damage. In March 2012, together with Japan and the US, the EU demanded dispute settlement consultations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on China's REE export restrictions.